Submitted by Dr. GP
- “Looking unto Jesus” –Hebrews 12 :1-2
- The Greek word for ‘looking’ is a more exact word than we can find in the English language. It has a preposition in it which implies a definite looking away from everything else as well as a present looking unto Jesus
- One translation translates the phrase “Looking” beautifully as, fixing our eyes on. We can only run the race as we look to Jesus and have our eyes locked on to Him. He is our focus, our inspiration, and our example.
- We are to look from all beside to Jesus. Like race horses, we must put our blinkers on.
- We are not to look on the cloud of witnesses; as they will hinder us by taking our eyes from looking on Jesus.
- We are not to look on the weights and the besetting sin-that we are seeking to lay aside as these might discourage us.
- We are not to look on the race-course, or the competitors, as this might intimidate us.
- We are just to look to Jesus and start the race.
WHY SHOULD WE LOOK AT JESUS TO RUN THE RACE?
BECAUSE ………HE IS the author and finisher of our faith;
- Looking to a king or leader as a model, or to God for inspiration, was a common injunction in the ancient world.
- Whereas Jesus is the one who has run the path before us, offers the preeminent example of how the race is to be run, he was and is so much more than the ultimate example of Christian endurance. Because he is the “author and perfecter of our faith” this sets him apart from all the examples enumerated in Hebrews 11.Consequently he is worthy of consideration as pointed out in verse 3
Jesus is described as the author and finisher of our faith,
- The word translated “author” is rich with meaning and can communicate variously the idea of a champion, leader, forerunner, or initiator.
- The idea that Jesus is not only the author of our faith; but also the finisher of it also is clearly expressed in the comforting words of Philippians 1:6 as well as 2 Tim 1:12
If we were not confident or sure that he was the author and finisher of our faith we would not be able to run the race.
This verse tells us that our Lord is not only the object, but also the author of our faith in all respects. He is the beginning, perfecter, and rewarder of it. Christians must therefore keep looking away from this world to him because he has perfected our faith.
That he perfected our faith means that the Lord accomplished fully what it would take for ourfaith to be a reality…… he brought it to its intended goal.
Jesus accomplished the perfection of our faith by his sacrificial death on the cross. In keeping with the race imagery, he has cleared the path of faith so that we may run it. The way is open, and although hurdles exist, the roadblocks have been removed.
Jesus not only perfected faith but also provided the preeminent example of endurance because he looked beyond immediate, painful circumstances to the reward that was ahead.
He is the finisher of our faith; he is the fulfiller and the fulfilling of all scripture-promises and prophecies; he is the finisher of the work of faith with power in the souls of his people; and he is the judge and the rewarder of our faith; he helps us to reach the mark, and it is from him, and in him, we have the prize.
Whenever one talks about faith, all depends upon Jesus, for he is the basis, the means, and the fulfillment of faith.
Who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising OR SCORNING the shame
Who for the joy that was set before Him:
Jesus did not regard the cross itself as a joy. But He looked past the horror of the cross to enjoy the joy beyond it. The same mentality will enable us to endure. Romans 8:18
He despised the shame.
Despising the shame: One of the prominent elements of the torture of the cross was its extreme shame. Jesus bore this shame to accomplish our redemption.
Jesus bore a shameful accusation: blasphemy.
Jesus bore shameful mocking, a shameful beating. Jesus wore a shameful crown and a shameful robe. Jesus bore shameful mocking even as He prayed on the cross.
All the reproaches that were cast upon him, both in his life and at his death, he despised or scorned; because he was infinitely above them; he knew his own innocency and excellency, and despised the ignorance and malice of his despisers.
Jesus despised this shame and endured through it to victory. How did he do this?
The verb kataphroneo, translated here as “scorning,” or despising means to treat someone or something as if he or it had little value. That Jesus “scorned” the shame of the cross means that he treated it as insignificant or of little consequence.
The cross was the lowest form of capital punishment in the Roman world, reserved for slaves and criminals and involving both torture and public humiliation.
On the cross Jesus was treated as valueless, being mocked and ridiculed—in short, being “scorned” or “shamed.” But He, turned the experience inside out, by “scorning the shame”; or “scorning the scorn,” Jesus considered the cross to be insignificant compared to the joy of the exaltation that was set before our Him, because the end result of the shame of the cross was his exaltation to the right hand of God (Ps. 110:1). The phrase “And has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God speaks of Jesus’ glorification. The same promise of being glorified is true for the Christian also. Thus, Christians are encouraged to look beyond their present difficulties to God’s promised rewards.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 Knowing that Jesus doesn’t ask more of us than what He has Himself experienced, and that He knows exactly what we are going through keeps us from becoming weary.